In response to President Trump’s executive order on June 20, 2018 requiring the separation of over 2,300 children, we released a statement imploring our constituents to take action and contact their representatives. Quotes from the statement include:
A fierce debate over undocumented immigrants have swept the U.S. and stems from Trump’s Administration zero tolerance deportation practices. After large public outcry, last Wednesday, June 20, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order to end his policy of separating families at the border. Before the new executive order, over 2,300 children, some as young as eight months old, were taken from their parents and sent to more than one hundred shelters in seventeen states across the country. Many of these shelters are actually nothing more than converted warehouses with a series of cages. In these cages, made from metal fences, up to 20 children sit inside with their scattered water bottles and large foil sheets purposely used as blankets. The new policy is to detain families together for an undefined period of time. Though families are now required to be detained together, the zero tolerance stays in affect. This issue continues to divide the country, and communities across North America.
This is not an “us” vs “them” debate. Labeling people as “the others” prevents us from showing people humanity and compassion. These migrant families, like many of UNAVSA’s families, came to the U.S. looking to give their children a better life with more opportunities than they would have back home. Instead of running from Communism, they’re running from the likelihood of democratic demise, gang violence, and economic poverty. Instead of crossing an ocean, they crossed a continent. Our situations may differ, but the end goals strike many similarities. While the debate on immigration policy continues, UNAVSA asks for compassion for these separated children and their parents.